I don’t know what sparked this article today. We have been hearing these words or phrases for many years now. Ever since WWE changed to a PG product there have been subtle differences but during this new era of non-stop ‘commercial partnerships’ the marketing team (Stephanie and Vince McMahon essentially) have forced nonsensical words or phrases onto the TV scripts for commentary teams and backstage reporters alike. None of it sounds natural, it’s all forced. Just like the promos they write for their Wrestlers SPORTS ENTERTAINERS none of it sounds like something a human being would say.
Once again, I don’t know why I am writing this today but last night’s episode of Raw was filled with this garbage. It was all encompassing, the show washed over me as I drowned in marketing speak and nonsensical noise coming from the commentary desk. Let’s explore some of my personal pet peeves, shall we? I’ll start with my favourite one.
Vince thinks his ‘Superstars’ should be above making money so we never hear about earning the winners purse and going to the pay window anymore. If his guys are above money then I guess they don’t have health insurance either? If they don’t have health insurance and they don’t have money I guess they can’t go to the hospital? The only option for these injured competitors is to go to a magical place where money and insurance doesn’t matter: The Local Medical Facility! The Doctors are Unicorns and the Surgeons are made of gumdrops and rainbows! Goody!
Sure, the ambulance on TV that takes them for urgent medical care often says something like “St John’s HOSPITAL” on the side but forget about that! Local. Medical. Facility.
Translation: Fans or Live Crowd
“Members of the WWE Universe have been furious with Shinsuke Nakamura for all the dick punching lately”
“The Big Dog, The Architect and The Lunatic Fringe make their way to the ring through the WWE Universe here in Montreal!” or “The action (not fight or wrestling match) has spilled over the barrier into the WWE Universe!”
Both uses of this term are as ass-backwards as they appear.
The WWE Universe term is actually about to celebrate its 10th birthday. It was introduced as a password on Raw in June 2008 when Vince gave away millions of dollars as part of “McMahon’s Million Dollar Mania”. Vince called fans live on Raw and if they said the password (WWE Universe) they won cash prizes. They literally paid you to say it.
We have “Sports Entrainment” performed by “Sports Entertainers”. If they renamed Pro Wrestling as a sport and the competitors are no longer called Wrestlers the next step was to rename the fans I suppose. Crazy stuff. In WWE Logic it makes sense. Lets remember that the company formally changed its name to “WWE” not so long ago. WWE is no longer “World Wrestling Entertainment”. What does the second W stand for? Don’t ask them, they’ll keep the belt on Brock for another year just to piss you off.
Translation: Title Shot
I misspoke when I used the word belt above. I would be fired for that alone if I was sitting at the desk on Raw. Championship Titles cannot be referred to as belts or straps. “Belts are what people use to hold up their pants” is the famous line. To be fair it’s the least aggressive buzzword WWE use. It’s fine.
However, the Wrestlers are not “going for a title” nor do they “get a title shot” they “earn a championship opportunity”. It’s just so contrived. Boxers and Mixed Martial Artists gain title shots, why shouldn’t “Sports Entertainers” have the same verbiage? Pro Wrestling is a fixed fight after all.
Translation: We’ll see you after this commercial break!
It’s actually come to the stage that the commentary team don’t need to say “Finn Balor is rolling!” after he dives over the ropes. We know the break is coming, just go to it. You don’t need to tell me that “This match continues…” when Elias knocks his opponent to the outside of the ring. I’ll see them in 2 or 3 minutes, probably in a chinlock. Love my chicken at Popeyes.
Translation: Win, Victory, Pin
I saved the best for last. Nothing, not even ‘The Ultimate Thrill Ride’, has annoyed me more than this phrase in recent years. Wrestlers no longer win or lose, the person who gets the three count “knocks off” their opponent.
This phrase is used for two very different scenarios. Take Raw from last night (or any Raw really) for example. Ruby Riot pinned Sasha Banks in a completely inconsequential match. Cole tells us that Ruby “knocked off Sasha Banks” as she heads up the ramp. What does that even mean?! Knocked her off what? Beat, pinned, gained a victory over. There are countless other ways to express what has just happened but they go with this meaningless nonsense. I assume “knocks off” is their way of keeping the loser from shedding some of their lustre? She wasn’t beaten, she was “knocked off”. It’s a consequence of the WWE go-nowhere 50/50 booking. Something tells me Sasha will “knock off” Ruby next week…
The other is far worse. To gain a “Championship Opportunity” these days the challenger must “knock off” the Champion on TV to get the chance to “knock off” the Champion for the title.
You are given the opportunity to knock off the Champion for a Championship Opportunity, in which you hope to knock him off again to win the Championship Title. Exhausting stuff.
These are the only two scenarios in which this term is used. If two Wrestlers are engaged in a rivalry (not fued) they “pick up the victory”. No, this isn’t at the end of said rivalry, this happens during its run. You know, the four matches on TV between two guys to get you pumped for the fifth match on PPV?
I could discuss the overuse of nicknames and the constant camera cuts but that is for another day. These WWE buzzwords drive me crazy. Wait until Stephanie has full control…they’ll need to release a book so the average viewer can follow along with the wrestling action in the ring.
Just once, maybe on April Fools Day, the staff should play a prank on Vince. During a match Cole throws to break. They pretend to come back on air and say the following. “Rollins is wrestling here for a title shot. If he wins he will go on to wrestle the champion Brock Lesnar for the belt. He’ll be looking to kick his face in and send him to the hospital as the crowd goes wild.”
Put a camera on Vince. Watch him do rage cartwheels. Post it on Twitter. Justice for Titus O’Neil. Sure…everybody will be fired as a result of this prank but that place needs a good clear out anyway, win win.